Fire broke out beneath the football stands Friday afternoon at Swanton High School just hours prior to the start of the 2016 high school football season. Fortunately, the Bulldogs were on the road that evening at Ottawa Hills and nobody was hurt.
Somehow, according to the Swanton Fire Department, pole vault pit mats, being stored under the bleachers during the off-season, were ignited. The burning foam rubber material melted a hole in the aluminum stands and sent flames estimated as high as thirty feet into the air.
Fire crews quickly arrived and doused the blaze but not before an enormous hole in the northern end of the home stands had been created by the intense heat which had to exceed 1221 degrees Fahrenheit, the melting point of aluminum.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined as of this writing and the extent of the damage will be known following an inspection. No decision has been made on the location of Swanton’s scheduled home game against Tiffin Calvert this Friday.